Jimmie Johnson took full responsibility for the “mistake” he made that sent Kyle Busch spinning in the first Gander RV Duel at Daytona.
Johnson tagged the left rear of Busch’s Toyota on Lap 27, sending the No. 18 for a spin to the inside of the racetrack. Fortunately, Busch avoided the grass as well as the wall and suffered only minimal damage. The hood of the car did require some attention, but his Joe Gibbs Racing team plans to fix it and not use a backup car.
“Yeah, I just got it wrong,” Johnson said. “Clearly. We got three-wide and I just kind of misjudged that situation in being three-wide and trying to tuck in behind Kyle. Unfortunately, just turned him around. Apologies to he and his team and I know that is not what they wanted with their 500 car, but I just got it wrong there.”
Johnson elaborated that what he got wrong was a mental mistake.
“We’re three-wide coming through the turn, I’m looking out the windshield, my rear-view mirror and my third mirror trying to judge if the line is going to follow me, if the line is going to follow Kyle and where the third car is,” he said. “And in that whole environment I was wanting to get back in behind Kyle, and I think my eyes were in the wrong spot, so I didn’t have a good sense of perception of where I was with Kyle trying to manage my mirrors, and I just got it wrong. I thought I knew where I was with the right-front and I just had it wrong.”
Tyler Reddick was the third car, running the top of the racetrack. Busch was in the middle, and Johnson was running the bottom.
Busch was naturally upset over the radio after the accident, noting that it was the second accident Johnson had caused during Speedweeks. Told that Johnson apologized, Busch said he didn’t want to hear it.
Last Sunday, Johnson won the Advance Auto Parts Clash after similar contact with Paul Menard on the final lap, which triggered a multi-car accident. However, Johnson felt he made a mistake with Busch, while what happened in the Clash was just a racing incident.
“He ran into me,” Busch said after the Duel race, according to NBC Sports. “Flat out. Watch the television. You have to open your eyeballs to see where the (expletive) you’re going. That’s about all I can say.”